Monday, October 22, 2012

The Public Coming Out Post

A Little Personal News

So if you're reading this, you've either heard this elsewhere and are looking for confirmation,  or I've pointed you here via some other message or post. Yes, I have some news to confirm... I'm transsexual. My full coming out post is here and of course you are welcome to browse the rest of this blog if you want to see a bit of what I've been through on my journey. The good news is that my name change is now official and I'm transitioning to living full time as Naomi. To be honest I wish I'd done it sooner.

Part of the reason it took me so long to even begin the process of transition was my long time position at the school, and my enjoyment of teaching. For quite a time I thought that might be enough, that the satisfaction of teaching might carry me though my life without having to deal with the truth of who I was. But eventually time and the truth caught up with me.

To My Former Students

My enjoyment of my time with you may have delayed my transition, but I don't consider that a bad trade at all. I cared for all of you, and I enjoyed your various personalities, senses of humor, and learning styles. I got enormous satisfaction from helping you learn and watching you grow. I suppose you will have various reactions - some of you may be stunned, perhaps disgusted, maybe feel somehow betrayed... others may be (and have been) positive and accepting, supportive, even happy that someone they value has finally found a bit more peace for herself. Knowing all of you, I think that the latter group will far outnumber the former. I hope so, since I have fond and proud memories of you all.

To my old school and former colleagues

I suppose you, too, will have various reactions - probably also ranging from shock and disgust to being happy for me. Perhaps the latter group will even outnumber the former, I'm not sure.

I imagine that some of you may have now guessed that the reason I left teaching and the school (and the dog obedience world, for that matter) was to make this change. And I think it's pretty clear that it would have been orders of magnitude more difficult, if not impossible, to transition there. And I was extremely fortunate to land a cool job with a company and with people who are willing and able to support me as I make this change.

It's ungracious of me to admit it, but I didn't trust the school, neither as an institution nor as a community, to stand by me during such a risky and difficult time. That realization was very hard for me to take at the time. It felt like a betrayal as I realized that an institution I'd put so much of my life into, and a community I'd seen rally around so many others in tough times, would not be there for me. But it was probably a gift, now that I think of it, since it made it that much easier to seize opportunity when it arose. But please, for the sake of others there who are LGBT, don't stand on the wrong side of history too much longer.

To all of you

I've moved on quite a bit over the past couple years, and I have an even longer journey ahead of me, but I'm still pretty much the same person. I'm happier now, and a bit more at home in my own skin, a little more authentic and honest about who I am, but that's about it. (Don't get me wrong - that's HUGE!) That, and now I get to wear cuter shoes on occasion... ;)

I'm not trying to reject my past or deny who I am or where I've been at all, so if you have the inclination to make contact again, I'd be happy to hear from you. On the other hand, if you don't feel comfortable, interested, or otherwise motivated to get in contact, that's fine with me, too. Best wishes to all.

Kindest regards,


  1. Naomi,
    I am happy for you and respect your choices and decisions. It has not in any way changed how/what I think of you and regard you as a good friend and colleague. I hope we can stay in touch and work together again in the future...maybe at another PyCon Presentation or where ever else life takes us.
    All the Best!
    -Brian Brumley

    1. Thanks, Brian - I appreciate your support and your comment. I hoping we can work together again, too. Send me a note sometime and let me know what you're up to these days. DId you end up moving?

  2. Dear Naomi, I wish you all the best and you don't need anyone's "permission" to be happy. Be true to yourself. Your friend Sabrina

  3. Heya Naomi! We haven't met but apparently through overlapping Python activism stuff some of my friends know you. Anyway, was pointed here... it's always good to see someone taking a brave step like this and embracing their identity! Good for you, and good luck!

    1. Hi Chris! We haven't exactly met, but I was the poster session chair for PyCon, so I know your name and remember that you had a poster on Media Goblin. And yes, several mutual friends have mentioned you - I can only hope they were as positive about me as they were about you! Thanks for the note of support and here's hoping we meet up in person soon! :)

  4. Congrats on your future happiness!
    Cheers, Candace Gillhoolley